#Panthers Luke Kuechly – heartfelt moment for Makala

Posted on January 21, 2016


For most young teenage girls in Charlotte North Carolina getting out to the Bank of America Stadium and meeting NFL Playoff Champ #59 Luke Kuechly of the Carolina Panthers would be an easy task. And is probably 1st on the list for every young teenage girl in Charlotte North Carolina right now.

But for Makala Lay it is a real challenge, she was born with Cerebral Palsy.

Makala with Mom -Rachelle awaiting #panthers Luke Kuechly

Makala Lay made it out to the Bank of America Stadium today but almost got her heart, hopes and dreams crushed. Her mom Rachelle Lay, shared with us, “Makala is 15 years old and has Cerebral Palsy. She was born at 25 weeks and only weighed 1″11, it was 5 months before Makala could even leave the Hospital after her birth to go home. Makala uses a walker at school but is usually to tired when she gets home. So she uses a wheel chair. She is I huge panther fan and loves to watch the games!! She was one of #mollyskids not to long ago.”

Makala is from Mount Holly and a 10th grader at East Gaston High School and coming out today to the Panthers Stadium at first for Makala was very disappointing. The Family reported that they were told they could not be on the side walk  in front of were all the fans had gathered.  And the family was told that they had to get behind a wrought Iron Fence in a grassy area  with the other fans for when the #Panthers Players come out and make there way to the practice field.

Her mom Rachelle Lay , talked to us about how it was dangerous and clearly a struggle for Makala and her to navigate the uphill sloppy area where fans are required to stand behind a wrought iron fence waiting and hoping to get a glimpse or autograph of the #Panthers. As the Players pass by to practice for this week’s Big NFL Championship Game on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. And as the Players came out Makala’s hopes sank, being in a WheelChair Makala could not see above the fence let alone make any contact with her favorite player #59 Luke Kuechly as he passed to the practice field. Rachelle said “Makala is too big now for me to carry her, so I feel so bad that I  could not even get her head above the fence to see the Panthers”.

But mom and Makala did not give up, and not surprising for the Panthers, after several discussions with Panther ‘s Security, a Panthers official brought Makala safely to #59 Luke Kuechly who was able to spend a few quality moments with Makala even signing 2 autographs for the Teen on the sidewalk.

#Panthers Luke Kuechly autograph for Makala Lay

The family hopes that by sharing this story it will bring more attention for the need for access not only for Teens with Cerebral Palsy,  to remove barriers, to empower ADA teens, and remind everyone the importance for all individuals to just be able to participate in all events like other teens. But also for the Nation, the Charlotte Community and leaders to plan better  to  create  the necessary ADA ACCESS to help all Americans with Disabilities to be able to participate in regular events.

Makala Lay awaiting #panthers Luke Kuechly

Watch the link to our TV Show –
Panthers Pounding Forward to Super Bowl 2016
Path to Super Bowl 50 Carolina Panthers